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Clonazepam long term use


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Hi CBer's,

 

 

My PDOC diagnosed me with PTSD, and MDD about 4 or 5 years back. I've been on Lexapro 20mg since then. He also gave me Clonaz starting at .5mg x 2 or 3 for sleep. Over time, that has built up to 3 x 1mg for sleep and 1mg during the day for anxiety but not too oftenand only y if needed. I have been at this level for quite some time. I would guess that I take the 1mg for anxiety during the day  about once a month, maybe less. I toy around with my evening dose, often times taking just 2. It seems that over time, my body had found "the level" that works for me. At times I need 3 at night, just depends on state of mind. PDOC is 100% sure long term use won't have ill effects. Me, I'm not so sure. I've read about people here being on this drug for 10 plus years. I have also read the horror stories about the potential withdrawal problems. As much as I love a great night sleep, I also wonder if over the long haul I'll regret using this drug. I've tried the other sleep drugs with terrible results. Not only poor sleep, but major anxiety and outbursts in the days after. Ambien to be specific. That drug was like poison for me.

 

When I asked PDOC about getting off this, he asked a great question. Why would you wabt to? You're sleeping well, your anxiety is level is way down, and your PTSD nightmares are all but gone. All excellent points in my view. That said, I do wonder if I could even cope with withdrawals??

 

I'm an Alkie, been 100% off the booze for just shy of 20 years. Not a single slip, and amazingly no desire to take a drink, Thank goodness for that. A miracle for me. I've never abused my dosage on the Clonies either. Never!!! Too much respect for the power of the drug and the great benefit I derive from it.

 

So if you would care to pipe in with some thoughts, I'd be grateful. Thanks in advance. Tutty, formery known as CrazyJack on CB. Haven't been here in a while. Best to all.

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I'm in a pretty similar situation. I take 2 mg. Clonazepam as PRN med for anxiety or sleep aid since over a year now (does wonders for sleeping) and I too have been taking ever a bit more and more often (and also a bit more in quantity) since it seems I am growing resistant to it.

 

I asked my psychiatrist just this week and seemed unconcerned about it. Actually told me not to wait until I am desperate (like I normally do) to take Clonazepam, but rather to take 1 mg. every night if necessary, The idea was that I shouldn't wait to not sleep 2 or 3 days but instead that if after 30 min in bed I still can't sleep then... take one.

 

Anyone familiar here with Clonazepam? Are those horrible withdrawal symptoms true? I've read it's worse that when quitting alcohol and that it can trigger a psychotic episode (and I fear that would be my case since that is the thing I do... go psychotic).

Edited by Lemmiwinks
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Anyone familiar here with Clonazepam? Are those horrible withdrawal symptoms true?

 

IMO only if you wean off too fast.  It is a very slow weaning process to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.  I got edgy, stressed, irritable, angry ... I think you get the picture ... I am on 0.5 mg twice a day now and will do almost anything to NOT go any higher than that.

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When I asked PDOC about getting off this, he asked a great question. Why would you wabt to? You're sleeping well, your anxiety is level is way down, and your PTSD nightmares are all but gone. All excellent points in my view.

 

 

I agree with your pdoc.

 

I've been on one type of benzo or another for about 20 years.  I'm on my second go-round with Klonopin and take it much like you do.  If its working for you, I say don't mess with it.

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I have been in a panic over Benzos since I was prescribed them.  I think your PDoc makes an excellent point.  If they are doing everything for you?   Why change?   I just tried (With Gdoc's grudging ok) to dial down my anti depression drug.  I thought it was making it hard for me to do complicated thinking.   Well it maybe but going too low on it made some of my current problems 10x worse.   So.  I know its "drugs" and a lot of us equate that with some pretty bad stuff but they don't make these things to make your life worse.   *It can get worse but only if your screwing around with them.

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Hi CBer's,

 

Thanks to all for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. Being crazy, lol, I go through these phases every now and again, where I start to question the whole drug run life. I need to come here ro hear from my fellow CBer's to assure myself that I'm on track. I really like my PDOC a lot. He's a genuine good dude and calls em like he see's em. He listens well, and does a lot to keep me right. Funny side note. A few visits back he upped my Lex to 30mg. I did it for a few weeks, but I swear I was getting chest pains, so i went back down to 20mg. When i told him about it, he pretty much said it was unrelated. He was okay with me sticking to 20mg. Now, my wife thinks I'm on 30mg all this time. She comments a few days back, you've been really good since you upped the Lexxie. I asked her, how so? She told me i didn't bitch and moan about having to go to events I don't want to. She said, you've just been so agreeable. LOL I told her I had been back to my old dose for over a month. She said, well then, I guess you're just mellowing with age. Go figure!!

Anyway, life goes on, and things are good.

 

to Quiet Storm, as I mentioned, I was a full blown alkie, but quit cold turkey almost 20 years ago and never looked back. AA was a big help for me. I have an OCD addictive personality. Everything I do is either "all in" or not at all. I can tell you point blank, many of my AA brethren were less than happy when I told them about my Benzo script. I found that weird, because....early on in the meetings i was told by senior members of the program to watch clearly for signs of depression and anxiety, as it is apparently a well known issue with drunks who quit the booze. I love my AA folks, but I trust my PDOC and his judgement as a trained professional more than i do advice from an AA member. BTW, I said i was a full blown alkie. I need to correct that. I'm still an alkie, I just don't frink any longer. Once an alkie, always an alkie per the program. I agree with that concept 100% I'm always just one drink away from where i was 20 years ago. That's a crucial thing for me to constantly remember. BTW, I wasn't a mean, bumbling idiot of a drunk. I was a professional drunk with a huge capacity for alcohol. never a fight, never a DUI, never missed work, etc. etc. The reason i quit is due to the enormous amounts of beer and fine wines i could consume on a nightly basis. Absolutely scary shit.

 

Anyway, to my point, fear of addiction is a valid issue. Since i was already addicted to booze while not under a doc's care, i figured I had everything to gain and nothing to lose on the drugs. Why? Simply because i am under the care of a great PDOC who also happens to be an internest. I see him every 3 months like clock work. 15 minutes to catch up, check in, and make sure all is well. After reading the replies here, I pretty much know, I don't want to go back to a state of anxiety and depression. I love my life most days. I'm grateful for the wonders of these drugs and the effect they've had on my life. Am I addicted? In my mind, no question about it, YES I AM. As long as life stays good, and my doc says stay on them, I'm doing it. If the day came where I had to quit Benzo's for whatever reason, I'd surely do the world's longest taper to avoid the harsh and nasty side effects. At this stage though, neither I nor my Doc see that day coming anytime soon. I wish you the best. I am not qualified to give advice, but I can tell you, these drugs have changed my life for the better by a gazillion percent.For me, they work.

 

Again, to everyone, thanks so much for your time. I love CB. It's been a great resource for me. You're a wonderful group of generous folks.

 

Tutty out

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Well I've been almost 48 hours without a dose of clonazeoam. I've been taking ativan and clonazepam pretty much daily for the last two and a half months. And I feel fine so far since not taking it almost two days ago. Haven't needed it last couple days because oddly the anxiety has just pretty much up and disappeared the last couple days. Weird.

Edited by quiet storm
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Well I've been almost 48 hours without a dose of clonazeoam. I've been taking ativan and clonazepam pretty much daily for the last two and a half months. And I feel fine so far since not taking it almost two days ago. Haven't needed it last couple days because oddly the anxiety has just pretty much up and disappeared the last couple days. Weird.

 

I would be careful about the clonazepam (Idk about Ativan, never been on it) and going too long without a dose of it.  Withdrawal effects can hit suddenly and really suck ... edginess, anxiety increase, etc.  When I lowered my dose it had to be a very slow taper because of the side effects.

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physical dependence on a drug prescribed for medical reasons, used in the manner prescribed, is not addiction. period.

 

I know that I may have come off as bold by putting that in big font, but I always feel very strongly about threads on this subject. a patient that uses their benzos responsibly is not in danger of addiction. they will become physically dependent on the drug. addiction is a psychological dependence on a drug with or without a physical dependence. addiction is the mental drive to seek out and use medications irresponsibly.

 

Many pdocs are loathe to prescribe benzos to clients because they have been used inappropriately by patients with addiction issues so frequently in the past. It sounds like you are using your medications as prescribed. Your physician clearly has no issues with either prescribing the medication to you, nor the amount of the medication that you consume. I would not falsely create anxiety worrying about the medication that is prescribed to combat your anxiety.

 

just my 2 cents.

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When I asked PDOC about getting off this, he asked a great question. Why would you wabt to? You're sleeping well, your anxiety is level is way down, and your PTSD nightmares are all but gone. All excellent points in my view.

 

 

I agree with your pdoc.

 

I've been on one type of benzo or another for about 20 years.  I'm on my second go-round with Klonopin and take it much like you do.  If its working for you, I say don't mess with it.

 

This (I'd use the up arrow but I don't seem to have a key for that).

 

Don't ask for problems where none exist. It's working. Leave it be. I know you have the addiction worry but the thing is, you're taking it prescribed. You are not abusing it. You need this med for your mental health. You are dependent on the med in a similar way that a diabetic person is dependent upon insulin. No one would suggest that a diabetic person should give up their insulin. The same thing goes for you.

 

Congrats on the no drinking thing. Sounds like you were a functional alcoholic. Still an alcoholic though. Twenty years is a long time. You should be very proud of this accomplishment. 

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